2013 Colin Kaepernick – Week 2 review

The 49ers lost in Seattle on Sunday Night, obviously charting Kaepernick’s Week 2 game wasn’t as fun as it was charting his Week 1 game against the Packers. The 49ers had 11 drives from which they managed to score only 3 points.

1st drive: Own 20, 15:00 left in the 1st qrt, score tied 0-0
Seattle won the coin toss and elected to defer so the 49ers got the ball first. The 49ers & Colin Kaepernick started the first offensive series with no huddle offense. After a handoff to F. Gore, Kaepernick ran on designed run play from pistol formation for 2 yards. He completed a short pass to FB B. Miller who stumbled as he caught the ball and couldn’t get enough yards for a first down, with 4 & 1 the 49ers were forced to punt and end its first series with 3 & out.

2nd drive: Opp 33, 12:21 left in the 1st qrt, score tied 0-0
Blocked punt by special teams gave the 49ers great field position to start the second drive of the game. Kaepernick ran from the pistol for 6 yards on 1st and was stopped for no gain on 2nd down, on 3rd & 4 he connected with V. Davis with a quick pass for 7 yards and a 1st down. Kaepernick kept the drive alive later on when he scrambled for 8 yards on 3rd & 7 to set up first and goal from SEA 9 yard line. With another 3rd down situation Kaepernick was looking for V. Davis again. At first it looked like Seahawks were in man coverage, Safety K. Chancellor was on Davis, but as play developed CB W. Thurmond broke off covering K. Williams and closed on V. Davis. Had Kaepernick been more accurate with the throw he would still be able to beat disciplined Seahawks’ defense, but his pass was a bit late and off target, the ball was tipped and intercepted. Big turnover considering the 49ers were in scoring position.
INT0(click on image to enlarge)

3rd drive: Own 25, 7:09 left in the 1st qrt, score tied 0-0
The 49ers defense was playing great early on in the game and SF quickly got the ball back when E. Reid intercepted R. Wilson’s deep pass. Kaepernick found K. Williams for 14 yards on 1st down play. False start and delay of game penalties made it hard for the 49ers  who couldn’t convert on 3rd and 16. Kaepernick completed pass to K. Williams again but it wasn’t enough for a 1st down. Drive ended with another punt.

4th drive: Own 36, 3:13 left in the 1st qrt, score tied 0-0
After the players came back to play (an hour-long delay due to severe weather conditions) it started to get worse for the 49ers. F. Gore was stopped for a loss of a yard and Colin Kaepernick got sacked and lost 9 yards. He completed short pass to V. Davis for 5 yards which wasn’t enough to convert  3rd down. Second 3 & out for the 49ers.

5th drive: Own 6, 11:23 left in the 2nd qrt, score tied 0-0
It got even worse on the 49ers’ next possession. F. Gore lost yardage again on 1st down run from own 6 yard line and offensive holding penalty on the next play resulted in a Safety.

6th drive: Own 40, 8:30 left in the 2nd qrt, SF down 2-0
SF defense continued to do a great job, they stopped R. Wilson on 4th down which gave 49ers the ball on SF 40 yard line. But 49ers quickly gave the ball back to the Seahawks. Kaepernick was really pressured on this particular drive, on second play he had to throw the ball away and on third he was sacked, loose ball recovered by Seattle.

7th drive: Own 20, 5:52 left in the 2nd qrt, SF down 5-0
Kaepernick started the drive with another incompletion, he was under pressure and had to throw the ball away again, he ran for 12 yards on the next read-option run play. Later on when he faced 3rd and 4 he escaped from the pressure and tried to connect with F. Gore. Kaepernick had room to run and missed a chance to gain enough yards for a 1st down on that particular play. Instead he failed to complete the pass to F. Gore and the 49ers had to punt for the 4th time.

8th drive: Own 26, 9:12 left in the 3rd qrt, SF down 12-0
After a few short drives 49ers finally moved the ball on this drive. Kaepernick scrambled for 28 yards on 2nd and 10 from own 43 yard line. On the next play he found V. McDonald for 19 yards. The 49ers were in the redzone and with 3rd & goal on SEA 3 yard line Kaepernick missed another opportunity. He had WR Q. Patton open in the endzone after a crossing route with K. Williams, but didn’t see him. He was forced to scramble again, rolled to his left and was eventually pushed out-of-bounds at the line of scrimmage which counted as a sack. The 49ers had to settle for a FG.

FG09th drive: Own 20, 13:44 left in the 4th qrt, SF down 19-3
Down by 16 in the 4th quarter, Kaepernick pushed downfield looking for V. Davis. The ball was slightly underthrown and picked off by CB R. Sherman. It was 2nd INT and Kaepernick’s 3rd turnover of the game.

10th drive: Own 20, 11:31 left in the 4th qrt, SF down 22-3
Facing 3rd & 1 Kaepernick got 1 yard needed for a 1st down on QB sneak play. Later on 2nd and 1 found Boldin for 7 yards. It was the only catch for Boldin who was targeted only 4 times in this game. Kaepernick scrambled for 16 yards on 1st & 10. RB K. Hunter lost 7 yards and with 2 incompletions (one pass deflected and another off target) it was 4th and 17. Kaepernick was under pressure and had to scramble, 14 yards weren’t enough and the 49ers turned the ball on downs.

11th drive: Own 13, 5:13 left in the 4th qrt, SF down 22-3
It was a rough day for Colin Kaepernick who finished the game with his 3rd interception. He was looking for K. Williams on 3rd and 10, but the ball was way off target.

Drive stats
As already mentioned Kaepernick & the 49ers had 11 drives on offense and produced only 3 points out of it. Their average starting field position was own 27 yard line. Compared to Week 1 (75) they had only 51 offensive plays. Kaepernick who committed 6 turnovers in all of 2012 season, had 4 TO against Seattle ( 3 INTs, 1 lost sack fumble).

W2-drive statsOffensive formations

W2-formationsJudging from last season’s playoff games and two regular season games this season, it looks like the 49ers are now inclined to operate more from the shotgun and its hybrid pistol formations. Against the Seahawks, Kaepernick was under center on only 15.7% of plays.

Pass plays
Out of total 51 offensive plays, 35 were designed pass plays: 28 pass attempts, 4 scrambles and 3 plays resulted in a sack. First let’s take a look at standard passing stats, this time with comparison not only to 2012 season but also to Week 1.

W2-passingAnd a table with calculated yards per pass play and sack rate.

W2-YPPWith only 4.9 yards per pass play and 8.6% sack rate, Colin Kaepernick had his worst passing performance as a pro in Week 2 versus Seahawks, no question about it.  On 3rd and 4th down situations: 8 pass attempts, 50% completion rate, 2 INTs. He scrambled twice for 22 yards, was sacked twice and ran on designed run play once for 1 yard (QB sneak) in those critical down situations. On average, 49ers had 8.6 yards to go on 3rd down.

W2-3rd 4th downW2-3rd4thD situationsSuccess rate is % of plays which resulted in new set of downs or TDs.

Under pressure

W2-under pressureBased on my count, Colin Kaepernick was pressured 11 times out of total 35 dropbacks (31.4%). As expected, considerably higher compared to Week 1 game (11.1%). On many plays he had time to throw but didn’t find open receivers. Part of it is because Seahawks’ secondary was just to good and disciplined in coverage which eventually allowed the pass rush to get to him, but there were plays in which Kaepernick missed open receivers. He scrambled 2 times for 42 yards and got sacked 3 times, on one occasion he fumbled the ball. He attempted 6 passes under pressure and completed only 1 for 17 yards.

Incompletions
Kaepernick attempted a total of 28 passes and completed 13 of them, 3 were intercepted. Here’s a breakdown of 12 incompletions. One of his passes was deflected, first time ever that has happened.

W2-incompletionsRun plays
Kaepernick ran with the ball 5 times for 21 yards (4.2 yards per att) on a designed run play in Week 2, 4 read-option runs and 1 QB sneak.

W2-rushingConclusion
Week 2 against the Seahawks was a game Kaepernick would want to forget as quickly as possible. He probably already did as the 49ers prepare for Week 3 game against the Colts. Kaepernick had rough day passing the ball against one of the best defenses, if not the best defense in the league. He turned the ball over 4 times and played poorly especially in the redzone (0 of 3 pass att, 1 sack and 1 scramble for 8 yards). The first 49ers’ redzone opportunity ended with INT and in the second one Kaepernick’s poor decision-making on 3rd down play resulted in a FG.
The 49ers couldn’t run the ball on Seahawks early on and abandoned the run when they were down early in the second half. They also couldn’t scheme on offense in passing game as effectively as they did in a game against the Packers where Kaepernick had time to throw. For me, pass protection wasn’t that big of a problem against the Seahawks. Tough Kaepernick was pressured more than in Week 1, the problem was more in him not finding open receivers. Kaepernick seemed to lock on his first read too many times, missing open receivers on couple of plays. Kaepernick did have success running with the ball, especially when he had to scramble away from the pressure. Something he does really well.
The 49ers again had too many penalties on both sides of the ball, something I was hoping they will improve on from Week 1. Turnovers, poor offensive line play in running game and penalties, those things really hurt 49ers’ chances on Sunday Night.

In Week 3 the 49ers will be back home to face Indianapolis Colts. I’ll be looking for a bounce-back performance from Colin Kaepernick who had the worst game of his pro career in Week 2.

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